Aug
18
HSBC Sport | Inside the Minds of the World’s Best Athletes


In the sevens game the lungs on the legs are what get fatigued first and then the mind goes after that So if we can get our legs and
lungs to fatigue as far as they can and then keep our mind in the game then
we know that we can go just a little bit extra Doesn’t mean we’re gonna play a
whole other game it means that last 30 seconds the last minute that last two
minutes that’s all we need You do suddenly realize that you’re breathing
a little bit shallower than normal that you’re slightly more nervous than you should be
and it’s a reminder you know this is a place where you did get nervous where
you were trying to think with great clarity As a young guy I always thought
experience was completely overrated this naivety of youth as soon as you get
that experience and you see the younger lads you realize how vital it is to the
success of any team, players that have been there and done it and that have that
calmness about them when everyone else is panicking and everyone else is getting
hot-headed emotions are high but yet their exterior is steely You can never really practice for being nervous, nerves are nerves You’ve got to be inside that arena What you’ve got to then become good at and
become discipline and experienced at is just being able to be disciplined
enough to do the really simple things really well What will make the difference ultimately in the tight games and the big matches and when the pressure comes on is what’s happening mentally the top two, maybe it’s the top two-and-a-half if you’re lucky From a physiological point of view you
have to be cool as you like because big pressurised situations big
pressurised moments take for very cool heads and clear thought Every job you give everything you’ve got and get on to the next one after that In attack, play what’s in front of us we take care of the ball we flick in our threes It’s the opportunity to still see 360
when the clouds coming in with fatigue with decision-making with the opposition
being ahead or you being ahead the clocks running one way something else is
happening you’ve got to still think very clearly you’ve got to communicate
clearly and you’ve got to make the right decisions you’ve got to execute them all
all under pressure now the top players are going to be able to do that the
teams that perhaps aren’t used to that situation haven’t got that resilience
are gonna be the ones that will get close but won’t get close enough You see the best players always turning up at key moments and making good decisions
because as much as their heart is jumping out of their chest, very very clear in their
thought You talk about different scenarios and situations which might be the last
two minutes might be the last play of the game it might be winding down the
clock it’s what you have to do in that period which is really important and
that’s what makes a great team and that’s what makes a really quality
player is being able to break it down to that and then in a big arena there’s
a lot of noise there’s a lot of distractions now that’s all I need to do
I’ll focus on that if I take care of business we’ll be okay